Speech by Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk: 8th Annual Tourism Conference, Gauteng

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Service excellence and accessibility

Finally, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to reflect on the importance of service excellence in our industry, and the accessibility of our tourism products to ensure sustainable growth. We understand that developing recognised tourism icons alone will not be enough to achieve our long-term growth targets. I believe we must pay more attention to service excellence in particular, as ultimately, it is visitors experience in our country that will make them want to return or not.

It is for this reason that our department has partnered with the Tourism Business Council of South Africa to implement a service excellence initiative. A presentation on the progress of the initiative will be made during the latter part of this conference.

In terms of accessibility, our industry should also focus on making all our products accessible to all visitors, including those with disabilities. The right to enjoy tourism is an equal right for all. The issue of accessibility is not only an issue with great social dimensions and consequences. Also from a financial perspective, individuals with disabilities represent a large and developing market for the tourist industry.

In Europe alone, it is estimated that more than 40 million consumers with disabilities could travel and use tourist infrastructure, if these were accessible. South Africa has all the capabilities to attract and absorb this large tourist clientele. I hope and trust that this matter will be dealt with in a serious manner, in order to ensure that all of us in the private and public sectors work towards accommodating all tourists.

Full speech:
http://www.webnewswire.com/node/477326


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